Minister for Defence (Ireland)

The Minister for Defence (Irish: An tAire Cosanta) is the senior minister at the Department of Defence in the Government of Ireland. The current Minister for Defence is Simon Coveney, TD.[1] He is also Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Minister for Defence
Irish Government Logo.png
Simon Coveney 2018.jpg
Incumbent
Simon Coveney

since 27 June 2020
Department of Defence
Member ofGovernment of Ireland
NominatorTaoiseach
AppointerPresident
Inaugural holderRichard Mulcahy
Formation22 January 1919
WebsiteDepartment of Defence

The Department is responsible for the Irish Defence Forces. The Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 assigned the minister the additional title of Commander-in-Chief as the Chairman of the Council of Defence. The Defence Act 1954 removed this title, as a result of the reconstitution of the Council of Defence. The President of Ireland, a largely ceremonial role, is considered the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces.[2] In practice, the Minister acts on the President's behalf and reports to the Irish Government. The Minister for Defence is advised by the Council of Defence on the business of the Department of Defence.[3]

The Minister is assisted by the Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Jack Chambers, TD.

Ministers for Defence since 1919Edit

  Denotes acting Minister
Name Term of office Party Government(s)[a]
Richard Mulcahy[b] (1st time) 22 January 1919 1 April 1919 SF 1st DM
Cathal Brugha[c] 1 April 1919 9 January 1922 SF 2nd DM • 3rd DM
Richard Mulcahy (2nd time) 10 January 1922 19 March 1924 SF 4th DM • 1st PG • 2nd PG • 5th DM •
1st EC • 2nd EC
W. T. Cosgrave (acting)[d] 20 March 1924 21 November 1924 CnaG 2nd EC
Peter Hughes 21 November 1924 23 June 1927 CnaG 2nd EC
Desmond FitzGerald 23 June 1927 9 March 1932 CnaG 3rd EC • 4th EC • 5th EC
Frank Aiken 9 March 1932 8 September 1939 FF 6th EC • 7th EC • 8th EC • 1st • 2nd
Oscar Traynor (1st time) 8 September 1939 18 February 1948 FF 2nd • 3rd • 4th
Thomas F. O'Higgins 18 February 1948 7 March 1951 FG 5th
Seán Mac Eoin (1st time) 7 March 1951 13 June 1951 FG 5th
Oscar Traynor (2nd time) 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 FF 6th
Seán Mac Eoin (2nd time) 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 FG 7th
Kevin Boland 20 March 1957 11 October 1961 FF 8th • 9th
Gerald Bartley 11 October 1961 21 April 1965 FF 10th
Michael Hilliard 21 April 1965 2 July 1969 FF 11th • 12th
Jim Gibbons 2 July 1969 9 May 1970 FF 13th
Jerry Cronin 9 May 1970 14 March 1973 FF 13th
Paddy Donegan 14 March 1973 2 December 1976 FG 14th
Liam Cosgrave (acting)[e] 2 December 1976 16 December 1976 FG 14th
Oliver J. Flanagan 16 December 1976 5 July 1977 FG 14th
Bobby Molloy 5 July 1977 11 December 1979 FF 15th
Pádraig Faulkner 12 December 1979 15 October 1980 FF 16th
Sylvester Barrett 15 October 1980 30 June 1981 FF 16th
James Tully 30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Labour 17th
Paddy Power 9 March 1982 14 December 1982 FF 18th
Patrick Cooney 14 December 1982 14 February 1986 FG 19th
Paddy O'Toole 14 February 1986 10 March 1987 FG 19th
Michael J. Noonan 10 March 1987 12 July 1989 FF 20th
Brian Lenihan 12 July 1989 31 October 1990 FF 21st
Charles Haughey (acting)[e] 1 November 1990 5 February 1991 FF 21st
Brendan Daly 5 February 1991 14 November 1991 FF 21st
Vincent Brady 14 November 1991 11 February 1992 FF 21st
John Wilson 11 February 1992 12 January 1993 FF 22nd
David Andrews[f] (1st time) 12 January 1993 15 December 1994 FF 23rd
Hugh Coveney[f] 15 December 1994 23 May 1995 FG 24th
Seán Barrett[f] 23 May 1995 26 June 1997 FG 24th
David Andrews (2nd time) 26 June 1997 8 October 1997 FF 25th
Michael Smith 8 October 1997 29 September 2004 FF 25th • 26th
Willie O'Dea 29 September 2004 18 February 2010 FF 26th • 27th • 28th
Brian Cowen (acting)[e] 18 February 2010 23 March 2010 FF 28th
Tony Killeen 23 March 2010 19 January 2011 FF 28th
Éamon Ó Cuív[g] 20 January 2011 9 March 2011 FF 28th
Alan Shatter[h] 9 March 2011 7 May 2014 FG 29th
Enda Kenny (acting)[e] 7 May 2014 11 July 2014 FG 29th
Simon Coveney[i] (1st time) 11 July 2014 6 May 2016 FG 29th
Enda Kenny[e] 6 May 2016 14 June 2017 FG 30th
Leo Varadkar[e] 14 June 2017 27 June 2020 FG 31st
Simon Coveney[j] (2nd time) 27 June 2020 Incumbent FG 32nd
Notes
  1. ^ Before 1937: DM – Dáil Ministry; PG – Provisional Government; EC – Executive Council.
  2. ^ On the first occasion he served as minister Mulcahy bore the title Minister for National Defence.
  3. ^ Brugha bore the title Secretary of State for Defence.
  4. ^ Also President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Also Taoiseach.
  6. ^ a b c Also Minister for the Marine.
  7. ^ Also Minister for Social Protection and (from 23 January) Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
  8. ^ Also Minister for Justice and Equality.
  9. ^ Also Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
  10. ^ Also Minister for Foreign Affairs.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "List of Ministers and Ministers of State", Government of Ireland, archived from the original on 7 August 2020, retrieved 31 July 2020
  2. ^ Defence Act 1954 (No. 18). Act of the Oireachtas. Irish Statute Book.
  3. ^ Section 8 (Constitution of the Council of Defence) of the Ministers And Secretaries Act 1924 (No. 16), "the Minister for Defence […] shall be assisted by a Council of Defence". Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 27 June 2020, Irish Statute Book.

External linksEdit